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4 clever ways to repurpose an old TV tray

4 clever ways to repurpose an old TV tray
Posted at 2:15 PM, Aug 23, 2022

Do you have an old TV tray table laying around your house? They’re great to have on hand to pull out for parties when you need a little extra table space or when a few friends come over to watch a movie.

These small, portable pieces of collapsible furniture are also known as dinner trays or personal tables. You can use them to enjoy a meal or snack without having to get up from your seat. The best TV trays are lightweight and fold up well so they can be easily stowed away in a closet, basement or garage. 


Often comprised of composite wood, fiberglass, metal and synthetic plastic, vintage editions might even have a metal tray top. The best TV trays serve as a nice addition to your existing decor and have an easy folding mechanism.

TV tray stands became popular in the 1950s, serving as a place to hold dinner and a beverage. But they’ve come a long way since then! Today, the one-person tables can be used as desks, side tables, portable workstations and more.

If you have one you haven’t touched in years, we have four ideas on how you can either upcycle or repurpose it to give it a new lease on life.

Ironing Board


Some mornings you are in a pinch and just need to iron one small creased section of an outfit. Did you know you can repurpose your wooden TV tray table into a small ironing board? All you need to do is add a thick layer of foam under a piece of cloth. Staple the cloth to the underside of the tray. If space allows,  keep this small ironing board set up in your laundry room for quick access.

Mini Desk


Whether you are homeschooling or working remote and are tired of sitting at an uncomfortable table, you can transform your TV table stand into a mini desk and sit on the couch instead. Then grab your laptop or paper and pencil and get started.

Bar Cart


Cover the top of your TV tray table in contact paper or give it a fresh coat of paint. Then place a couple of cocktail glasses on top and your favorite bottles of hard liquor. If room allows, add a few napkins, a small bowl of citrus fruits and a cocktail shaker to add instant glam to your dining room or office.

Portable Puzzle Stand


When you’re working on a puzzle, it’s best to have a dedicated space to lay out your pieces. The downside to figuring out how to eat around your puzzle pieces that are spread out across your kitchen or dining room table. If you use your TV tray as a portable puzzle stand, you won’t have this problem. You can even move it around as long as you do it carefully so nothing falls off.

Pro tip: TV trays aren’t just handy to have around the house. They’re also great to take along to tailgating events or camping.

We hope this has sparked a flash of inspiration. Do you have any other ideas on how you’d repurpose an old TV tray? If you want to purchase one, here are our picks for the best TV trays on the market.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.